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SKILFUL SIX AIM TO RECAPTURE COSTA BALLENA TITLE
21st January 2009

Having been pipped at the post for the past two years, England is sending six members of its talented ĎA' Squad to Spain at the end of January in a bid to recapture the annual Costa Ballena Quadrangular Tournament title.

The skilful six are; Jonathan Gidney (Church Stretton), Miles Mackman (Broome Manor), Matt Nixon (Ashton-under-Lyne), James Robinson (Southport & Ainsdale), Tom Shadbolt (Mid Herts) and Michael Swan (Stoke-by-Nayland) - and they will take on teams from Finland, Germany, and hosts Spain at Costa Ballena on 28th - 30th January.

Jonathan Gidney
Jonathan Gidney (Photo Tom Ward)

Having won the title in 2005 and 2006, the England team have been denied on the final day for the past two years, both times by Spain, after having the title in their grasp. This time they are determined to go one better and will give a first overseas opportunity to Jonathan Gidney, 21(photo courtesy of Tom Ward), from Shropshire & Herefordshire. Gidney has been the Midland Youths Champion for the past three years and also holds the Welsh Youths Championship.

Miles Mackman, 22, from Wiltshire, is the only member of the squad to play in last year's match. A former winner of the Lagonda Trophy, last year he won the West of England Match Play Championship and the South West Youths Championship.

Matt Nixon, 19, was the British Boys Champion in 2006, the year he also finished runner-up in the Lancashire County and Boys Championships. He finished second again in the Lancashire Championship last year, tied third in the North of England Youths and helped Lancashire win the County Championship.

James Robinson, 20, from Lancashire, was a semi-finalist in the 2007 English Amateur and last year enjoyed a string of high finishes, winning the Formby Hare and Pines Trophy, finishing second in the S&A Bowl and the Scottish Youths and was another member of Lancashire's victorious County Championship team.

Tom Shadbolt, 20, is a former Hertfordshire County and Boys Champion who finished second in the Lagonda Trophy and fourth in the Lee Westwood Trophy, both in 2007. Last year, he was a member of the Under 21 Squad and this will be his maiden foreign assignment with the English Golf Union (EGU).

Michael Swan, 19, another talent to emerge from the Stoke-by-Nayland club, will also be enjoying his first EGU overseas trip. Fourth in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters and the Suffolk Championship in 2007, he was also in last year's Under 21 Squad.

As in previous years, the Costa Ballena competition will be played on a round robin basis, each match comprising three foursomes and six singles.

 


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